The radio program that prompted the thought for this post really wasn’t about blessings, but it came back around to that, inevitably. The topic was envy, and how easily we fall prey to it, wanting what others have, always seeing their blessings, and sometimes, seething over their good fortune.
Some of the happiest people I know, however, are not the ones who have been blessed in the way that the world would see it. They are the folks who may not have as much materially, but live gratitude daily. They see every good thing as a blessing. They see deep.
It’s a good way to live. It’s the only way to really live. The green-eyed monster can quickly gobble us up whole, steal our inner peace, turn our world topsy-turvy. There’s a better way. Really.
I have not always gotten it, and every once in a while the old goober-colored monster returns. I can feel it seep in under my skin. Thankfully I’ve learned to recognize it now and shoo it quickly away. Peace always immediately follows. Living in a way that all good things become a gift from God changes everything.
During the course of this radio discussion, one of the callers said her issue wasn’t so much being jealous, but feeling badly for her blessings. She was having a hard time accepting the ways God had blessed her, time and again, when so many others were experiencing such a lack. That made it hard for her to appreciate those blessings. She was living with the heavy burden of feeling the inequity of it.
But the hosts steered her aright, and I’ve been thinking about it since, because it resonated beautifully with what I have sensed, but perhaps never put into these direct words.
God blesses us so that we might bless others.
When we realize this, we have no reason to feel badly for our blessing. The reason God pours out blessing on some is so that they can turn around and give that blessing away in some way.
That’s why money is not evil in and of itself. When people are blessed by monetary wealth, they get to choose how to use it; for their own gain, or to bless others. Which of the two do you think would bring about the greatest ultimate fulfillment in life?
When God fills us up, whether it be with spiritual treasures like hope and consolation, or material blessings, we, too, have a choice. We can hang onto these blessings and covet them by holding on tight, or, we can allow those blessings to spill out of our soul and bring a little light and love to others who are in need.
This is the central aim of the Christian life — to live for others. “Your life for mine.” It all comes down to that. And when we do that, we are truly living.
It takes most of us our lifetime to figure this out, but the realization becomes a treasure unto itself, because it sets us onto a path of true freedom and peace in our souls.
Q4U: How do you increase your blessings by giving them away? Is anything ever really lost when we give from our abundance, whether material or spiritual?